It’s Good to be GOW2

[Shameless self-promotion alert: my son, Matt, who is presently boarding a jet for England to participate in the Euro launch of Gears of War 2, is an employee of Epic Games]

Sometimes I feel like that kid at the playground standing on the wrong side of the fence, watching the championship baseball game instead of playing in it. I love marketing and public relations, whether we are working with the smallest company on a minor project or a Fortune 50 industry icon rolling out a global campaign. It’s all a challenge and it’s all fun.

Still, every once in a great while I read or hear about a campaign I wish I was a part of. The upcoming (November 7) launch of Gears of War 2 would be a great example.

This game has been in the works since the introduction of the original Gears of War (4.5 million games sold worldwide). And the plans for its unveiling have been in the works for more than a year. Print and broadcast advertising, online advertising, publicity and media relations, blogger relations, guerrilla marketing, web site marketing, social networking, video sharing, trade show marketing, special events and on and on.

Not a stone has been left unturned. The funny thing is that most of it is probably unnecessary (words most companies dream of but never hear). This game is so amazing and has such a solid cult following that it will likely sell out faster than it can hit the shelves. There will be no need for Heidi Klum to dance around in her underclothes to promote this game (though a few gamers might enjoy it just the same).

Nonetheless, Microsoft and Epic are pulling out all the stops. Consider a few of the announcements recently reported:

Microsoft Corp. on Mon. said that the Gears of War 2 Live Weekend Assault will offer sweepstakes, tournaments and more on launch weekend.

On Thursday, November 6, 2008 Xbox Canada is going to be celebrating the launch of the hugely anticipated Xbox 360 exclusive, Gears of War 2, from Epic Games, which releases on November 7 worldwide.

Microsoft India held an event to pre-launch Gears of War 2 at a nightclub in central Mumbai.

Spike TV will celebrate the launch of one of this year’s most anticipated video games, Gears of War 2, with a half-hour special hosted by “GameTrailers TV’s” Geoff Keighley, which premieres Thursday, November 6 (11:30 PM – Midnight, ET/PT). Spike TV’s “Gears of War 2: The First Delta Squad” special will feature five die-hard gamers from around the country participating in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to be the first consumer in the world to play Epic Games Gears of War 2.

Well, you get the idea. This is exciting stuff. And as much as most game enthusiasts would love to be a part of the team that created this new release, I would love to be a member of the team that is launching it. But I don’t see that happening any time soon… this is a special club and I don’t have a membership.

Dominic Santiago: Looks like you need an access code.
Marcus Fenix: Hmm… Got one?
Dominic Santiago: Yeah, in my other pants.

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.